BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska company is investing in development programs for youths and others to fulfill its promise to hire local workers for a proposed gold mine project.

Yuut Elitnaurviat, a workforce development organization in Bethel, says Donlin Gold has given it equipment.

Two Native corporations own the mineral rights and land for the prospective gold mine 280 miles (451 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage. The project is expected to last up to 27 years.

Donlin spends $1 million annually on programs like Yuut Elitnaurviat and Excel Alaska, which train rural Alaskans for jobs near home.

Excel Alaska takes students as young as seventh grade and tailors sessions to fit the skills each one needs to obtain a job in his or her village, providing training through high school.

Information from: KYUK-AM,